Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fairy Garden Roots

Demure and smiling teen girl with braided hair looking to her left
Cicely Mary Barker
Fairy gardens have been growing more popular in the united states since 2010. Because of this, main stream markets have made fairy garden supplies and products more available to the average consumer.

The fascination with Flower Fairies are the product of English illustrator Cicely Mary Barker.

As a child she was home-schooled because of  her epilepsy. She spent much of her time drawing and painting.

She developed her talent as a member of the Croydon Art Society. Her flower fairy paintings were driven by the Victorian popularity of  fairy stories.

Like the Pre-Raphaelite painters whom she so much admired. She believed in recreating the beauty of nature in art and drawing from life. Her plants and flowers were observed with complete botanical accuracy. In the fairies themselves, she captured perfectly the unselfconscious grace of children. Whom she used to sketch in her sister's school.

Her earliest professional work included greeting cards and juvenile magazine illustrations. Her first book Flower Fairies of the Spring was published in 1923.

Now, fast foward to today with the sense of family activities and bonding seemingly slipping away to spending time alone glued to the TV and Computer screens. The average DIY'ers , gardeners, crafters, grandparents, parents and children are getting their imaginations and inner child back. By creating their own world, literally in their own backyard. It is a refreshing sight to see family bonding coming back in such a simple way.

The greatest aspect about creating a fairy garden is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Your only limited by your imagination. Not even the hard economic times can stop magic happening with up-cycling stuff around the house and in the garage.

For inspiration here are a few of Cicely Mary Barker’s well-known fairies.

Wild Cherry
Beautiful Wild Cherry can be spotted peeping through her delicate blooms in early Springtime. Although rather shy, Wild Cherry has many friends among the Flower Fairies of the trees. One of their favorite games is hide and seek high up in the treetops!

Almond Blossom
Almond Blossom is a wonderful sight in her dress crafted from beautiful pink petals. When the other fairies see her dancing and gliding through the branches they know it's almost Springtime! Happy and fun-loving, Almond Blossom is everyone's friend.

Lavender loves to sing and play. One of her favorite things to do is twirl around and around a lavender stem until she feels quite dizzy! She is friends with the white butterflies that flutter around her flowers. They often play games of chase, darting back and forth amongst her sweetly scented fronds. She provides her scented flowers to the other fairies to make their clothes smell delicious.

Sweet Rose is the gentlest of the summer Flower Fairies. A kind fairy, she likes nothing more than tiptoeing around her flowers and tending to them in the warm sunshine. She is a very good friend to the honey bees. Often seen guiding them to her fullest blooms and standing protectively beside them as they collect pollen.

Zinnia's flowers are some of the brightest in the garden. With their blooms ranging from pale pink to dramatic orange! Her tortoiseshell wings Zinnia is a colourful sight as she flutters around the flower bed. Tending to her blooms and collecting petals to make pretty costumes.

Outgoing and friendly. Buttercup likes nothing better than to skip through the summer meadows. Visiting friends and singing to herself in the sunshine. She fills the fields with her yellow flowers, which she polishes until they shine like gold. Giving pleasure to all her fairy friends and human children too.

For more of a visual sense here are some pictures of  fairy gardens done by the magic that is inside of us all........

The best times of the day to see a fairy are at twilight, midnight, just before sunrise, and midday. The best time of the year to see a fairy is on Midsummer's Eve. As this is the most magical time for all fairies. Flower Fairies love music and dancing. They hold many balls and parties throughout the year. But on this special night they throw the most wonderful party of all. Every fairy in Flower Fairyland is invited! Fairies don't like to be discovered and are very good at disappearing quickly (with the help of their magical fairy dust). So you must be very careful and patient if you are to see one.

Flower Fairies are very shy creatures and are especially wary of humans. Each fairy has extra-sensitive ears. If they hear someone coming close to them they are careful to flutter into their flower and curl up tightly. Each fairy wears an outfit made from their own leaves and flowers. It is easy for them to hide. To befriend a fairy leave a dish of milk, sugar or even cream out for them in the night. The Flower faries tell time by the dandilion clock.

As You can see by the pictures you don't have to re-vamp your whole backyard or have a backyard at all. A simple accent such as creating alittle scene on a planter can be a fun way to spruce up that empty dull patio.

You can finally put all those forgotten toys in-between the couch cusions to good use again and keep the kids busy at the sametime.

Of course you don't have to have kids or old toys to enjoy creating your own magic in your garden or patio. There are alot of products on the market available to get the creative juices flowing.

No fairy village is complete without this fairy adorable accessories set . Fairies can frolic across the toadstool topped bridge or sneak in under the vine-covered fairy trellis. The acorn-shaped mailbox has a removable lid so that kids can correspond with their fairy friends. All pieces are made of durable weather-resistant resin.

Go green and high tech with

Beautiful accent for garden, patio, porch or decorative table centerpiece.

Rooftop solar panels absorb the sun's energy to illuminate the house at night.

Mini window boxes can be planted with real flowers and plants !

Have fun this spring and summer with your new fairy gardens. Create great memories with your family and friends that will last the test of time, like the flower fairies themselves.

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